Bahnhof, Swedish ISP, has recently shared details on the nature of police requests for its customers’ details. It turned out that "file-sharing" comprises 27.5% and remains the largest category. That being said, Bahnhof doesn't consider piracy as a serious crime and has refused to hand over any user identities.
Bahnhof has been a major opponent of extensive data retention requirements. The Internet service provider launched a free VPN to its users and recently promised to protect subscribers from copyright trolls. Now Bahnhof published details on the nature of police data requests, for the first time ever. Unsurprisingly, file-sharing “crime” has been the largest category so far: more than 1/4 of all requests received by the company were for cases related to online file-sharing. All other crimes, including grooming minors, forgery and fraud, take lesser part of the requests.
The total number of requests is 40, which is quite modest, but their nature shows that file-sharing is high on the agenda for the local police. Unfortunately for them, Bahnhof isn’t willing to cooperate. The ISP cited European privacy regulations and claimed that it would only hand over data to the police if the complaint applies to a serious crime. This decision contradicts the recommendation of the Swedish Telecoms Authority and the police, so the issue will be clarified by a court ruling. Until then, the Internet service provider will continue to protect alleged file-sharers from police requests for their identities.
Bahnhof compared IP addresses with the fingerprints on the web, tied to users’ browsing habits and all sorts of private details. Therefore, IP addresses shall not be disclosed without strong reasons. This point of view falls in line with the Bahnhof’s criticism of the ongoing push to criminalize file-sharing in the country. Just a few weeks ago the ISP dismissed calls for harsher punishments for online piracy, recommending copyright owners to better focus on developing legal alternatives instead.
In response, the police explained that the high number of file-sharing related requests was due to increased enforcement efforts from the rights owners: when they report criminal activity, police have to investigate the matter.
Thanks to TorrentFreak for providing the source of the article.
Monday, May 23rd, 2016
|nice article. puts things in perspective.|
|Too bad the rightsholders now are buying the court to get the judgement they want|